USCOG Helps Ridge Spring Receive Grant for Playground Equipment, Bicycle Rack

Upper Savannah COG helped the Town of Ridge Spring acquire a HEAL mini grant to upgrade equipment at the community playground and add a bicycle rack at the Farmer’s Market.

The HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) grant totals $4,900. Government Services Director Rick Green prepared and submitted the grant application.

The funding is provided by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina Foundation and Wholespire, an advocate for healthier communities. The grant was officially awarded last week.

The new playground equipment will encourage musical play and sensory interaction at the playground outside the Civic Center. Included are a musical fence, Glockenspiel musical play event and rockin’ drum as well as Poly Pony and Benny Bulldozer fun bouncers.

“It is much needed to upgrade the playground equipment at the Civic Center,” Ridge Spring Town Clerk Summer Brown said. “We are excited to receive this grant.”

“This new equipment allows for visitors to come and enjoy various areas of our community,” Ridge Spring Mayor Qwen Etheredge said. “We are now allowed to upgrade equipment to ensure safety as well as provide kids a way to explore new ways to interact.”

The musical equipment will provide extra fun.

“Our kids of this age deal more with sound, lights, anything that will draw their sensors,” the mayor added. “This helps us to keep up with our current kids and prepare for the future.”

The bicycle rack will provide space for five bikes at the Farmer’s Market.

The Town is encouraging residents to walk and ride bikes more as a general rule, but they would especially like to encourage bike riding to the Market. Ridge Spring is surrounded by large commercial farms and many smaller farms. There is a wide variety of fresh, locally grown produce in-season available for local residents.

The Town has had several public hearings related to streetscape projects and potential improvements related to walkability around the Town. Residents were interested in being able to walk and bike to places more safely.

“As a growing population, we are looking at ways that we can bring visitors and potential residents to our community,” Etheredge said. “This also allows for our growing biking population to feel welcome and enjoy our shops.”

Improving and expanding playground equipment has been a need in Town for some time and has been discussed in Town Council meetings and in Recreation Committee meetings.